The speaker of the Guam Legislature has deemed the massive increase in gas prices as having created emergency conditions for the people of the island. Speaker Therese Terlaje this morning called the legislature into emergency session Friday at 9 a.m.
“In light of the continuous negative economic impact from the pandemic including unemployment, increased food and housing insecurity, and the rapid rise in gas prices and the need to provide additional and immediate direct aid to individuals, households and businesses, I hereby certify that conditions exist involving danger to the public health or safety,” Ms. Terlaje declared.
Senators will convene and determine which of four gas price-cutting bills they will consider.
Ms. Terlaje introduced her Bill No. 261 – cutting 23 cents from the price of a gallon of gas by eliminating the liquid fuel tax – since February. The chairmen and members of Sen. Joe San Agustin’s finance committee and Vice Speaker Tina Muna Barnes’s rules committee have held her bill and refused to allow the full legislature to consider it.
Three other bills that cut gas prices also were introduced and await legislative action. Those bills were introduced by Ms. Terlaje, Mr. San Agustin, and Sen. Jim Moylan.
Mr. Moylan last week petitioned Ms. Terlaje to use her powers to call this emergency session.
“I appreciate your careful consideration of my petition to deem these four pieces of legislation which address reducing fuel costs as emergency measures, and to further use your authority as the Speaker of the 36th Guam Legislature to allow Bills 260-36, 261-36, 290-36, and 295-36 to bypass standard procedures, and be placed on the agenda for an Emergency Session,” Mr. Moylan said. “We can’t afford to wait until the end of the month to have these discussions, and as stated in both my letter dated June 2, 2022, and this petition, I am not advocating for any one piece of legislation (despite my preference for Bill 290-36), but just to assure that lawmakers pass A MEASURE, SOON, to obtain some relief at the pumps.”